I have just got in from my 6pm-8pm lecture, scheduled every Tuesday and part of an open lecture series in which guest lecturers from other Universities come and talk about ... what they want to talk about, basically!
This evening we had Simon Herron, Lecturer at the University of Greenwich, previously of Bartlett... and son of Ron Herron, who formed part of the experimentalist group of the 1960's/70's - Archigram.
Literally the most crazy, but definitely up there with on of the best lectures I have ever had.. although firmly grounding my decision to study architectural technology and design instead of architecture - which im sure was the opposite of what it was meant to do! But highly interesting all the same..
There were a few points he made that got my senses going >>>
Firstly he talked of architecture as cooking.. yess cooking... the ingredients being our ideas, we then let them marinade for a while, indulging in spices and mixing things up... before we cook them up in to something wild and adventurous! I liked this.
Secondly he made it clear that drawing is a process, we will all do bad ones, but never mind - try again. Drawing is essentially used for three modes of communication... getting what is in your head out on paper, in anyway, even scribble, sorry 'controlled' scribble. Then there is putting that into a form that can be presented to show others what you are thinking before finally.. instructing how it will be built. Its a simple philosophy, but one that perhaps I overlook, especially the first stage... I hate mess, so I find it hard to just draw like that.. but I am working on it!
The last thing, and one that confuses me every time I hear it.. Herron talked of the final building produced by architects being the bi-product and not the art of what they do, the art is in the doing, the making, the process and getting to the final outcome. I can, hand on heart, say that when I started my course here at NTU I would never have thought I'd even slightly be agreeing with this.. but as I sat here for over 20 minutes trying to work out why I don't agree with it, thinking some more and ultimately it hit me.. it is this process of design, and not just the drawing but the research, the past experiences and knowledge of the architect that ultimately shape the way people live their lives through the built environment. If instead of plans and elevations being pinned on a board for critique, an architects process of how he got to where he did and why was emptied on to a page.. it would indeed appear much more interesting and no doubt detailed than a standard picture from 5 angles.
I'm waffling on.. so I'll stop... but I think I may have made a break through today. Let me know your thoughts please.